This study examined substance abuse and mental health service utilization during a three-year period among stimulant users living in rural areas.
Participants (N=710) were interviewed at baseline and every six months for 36 months. One-step transition probabilities were constructed between the two types of service use for each consecutive pair of interviews to examine the resulting steady-state probabilities among multiple one-step transition matrices.
Most participants received no substance abuse or mental health services. On average, the probabilities of reporting use of the same types of services during the 36-month follow-up were 82% for receiving neither service, 9% for receiving only mental health treatment, 6% for receiving only substance abuse treatment, and 2% for receiving both services.
Further study is needed to determine factors that affect the decision to seek mental health or substance abuse treatment among residents of rural communities. (Psychiatric Services 62:1230–1232, 2011)